Conference paper

Creating Resilient Cities: How a new generation of tools can assist local governments in achieving carbon their abatement goals

Greenhouse gas mitigation Precinct indicators Cities and towns Urban planning Australia
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‘Resilient Cities’ is a relatively new term that is designed to go further than ‘Sustainable Cities’ by pushing the transformational aspects of the changes needed within cities to adapt to the long-term challenges facing the planet such as climate change and resources scarcities. Sustainability is still a powerful word in application to cities as it enables us to focus on holistic, synergistic solutions that integrate economic, social and environmental outcomes. Nevertheless, the ambitious goal agreed to in Copenhagen in 2009 of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, will need more than just integrated solutions - it will require the fundamental transformation of cities. This paper looks at the role local government’s can play in helping to meet this challenge. A range of city types are outlined based on work done by Newman (et al 2009) that will help to create the resiliency needed within cities. However, it is argued that for cities and local governments to implement the required changes, new, 21st century tools are needed to help deliver the sustainability features and resilience that each aspect brings. Such tools should provide data on the carbon abatement opportunity and cost implications associated with the implementation of a range of policies and actions, along with the ability to track progress. Until now, few tools have been able to deliver these outcomes effectively (Beattie et al 2011). As a result, decisions have been limited to check lists, which have proliferated globally and dominate current decisionmaking. This paper identifies and examines a new web-based tool that provides the above-mentioned capabilities and therefore, can offer the transformational support needed. The authors explore how the tool could be applied to each of the Resilient City types and argue that this new generation of tool will be fundamental in transforming cities to become low carbon, resilient cities of the future.



The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research.
This paper was presented at SOAC 5held in Melbourne from 29 November – 2 December 2011.
SOAC 5 was hosted by the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and Latrobe University as well as the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Grattan Institute, the Victorian State Government and the City of Melbourne.
Three plenary panels brought researchers from across the country to address ‘big issues’: place-based disadvantage, the design and form of Australian cities, and metropolitan governance. Over 175 papers, in 46 themed sessions, cover topics ranging from planning and governance for environmental sustainability, to housing affordability and adequacy in the context of an aging population. Healthy communities, better public transport, high quality open space, participatory planning, and issues affecting the peri-urban fringe are also strong sub-themes within this conference.
All published papers have been subject to a peer reviewing process.

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